"It's kind of nice to get back to practice this week and start preparing for an opponent again. We had last week, where we really focused on ourselves, and we had to shift gears (Wednesday) and start really looking at the other team and looking at what we expect to get. Hopefully, that'll translate out to practice (Wednesday) and we'll get ready to go. I told the team we are going to see a very emotional group, I'm sure, a group that plays well at home anyway, but this being their home opener and first time back in their stadium since the Hurricane (Ike), I'm sure we'll see that wave of emotion and we have to be ready for it."
On what he has seen of Houston on tape:
"I watched their first three games. At Pittsburgh, they kind of got overwhelmed early, just had some bad things happen and they really weren't in the game. In the second game against Tennessee and their third game against Jacksonville, they really played well in a lot of areas. The Jacksonville game, they're one play away, a fourth-down stop, from winning the ball game in Jacksonville. It's a really, really typical Houston team, just like the team that was 8-8 that we saw last year. It doesn't look like an 0-3 team from watching those last two games."
On how much emotion can carry a team:
"I think it can have an impact. Certainly, if they get off to a good start, they're going to ride that crest. So, that's what we have to do, go down there and prepare ourselves to get off to a good start to deal with a team that's going to be sky high early in the ballgame."
On if the game will have a homecoming-type feel:
"I guess that's the way we have to look at it. It's going to be great for them to be back in their stadium and playing and I'm sure it's going to be a lift for the people in that community. That part of it, you love to see, but we don't want to let them have too much fun at our expense."
"We're going to wait and see how that all sorts out and see how the guys can play. Physically, they're fine and ready to go. They've been cleared by the doctors. In Mike's case, it's been a long time since he's taken any hits and done anything that way with pads on. Tony seems to be doing well and feels well, so we'll see how they do."
On if he has to keep guys from entering desperation mode:
"No. What I try to do is just point out what happens in the NFL early on. Washington, after week one, everybody had things to say about them and what was happening there and what kind of team they were going to have. Now, they beat Dallas and we are saying, ‘Wow, this might be the best team in football.' It goes both ways. Dallas, until last weekend, was the best team in football in a lot of people's minds. That's what happens early on. You can't really worry about that. You have to try to string better performances together every week, this week better than last week, and if we do that, we're going to be in good shape."
On the potential of DTs-Daniel Muir and La Juan Ramsey:
"When you make moves like this, you hope that you find guys that are fitting in to what you do. We have a lot of guys who wouldn't necessarily fit other places quite as well. You're hoping that what they bring to the table helps in your situation."
On if he feels the team has played all three phases of the game well on the same day yet this season:
"No. I think that's still to come. We haven't played what I would call a real sharp game for 60 minutes in all three areas. We've shown some signs, had some sparks in one phase or another, but not consistent and that's what we have to do."
On Houston RB-Steve Slaton:
"I saw him play a lot at West Virginia, and he's a game-breaker. He's a guy that can make long runs, he gets in the open field and makes people miss, he's a good receiver, he's been a very good player for them and I'm sure we're going to have our hands full with him. He's a guy that can hit those creases and make long runs."
On if Slaton gives Houston a different offensive look:
"Probably so. He's probably a little bit more of a big-play threat."
On Houston WR-Andre Johnson:
"Andre is a special player. He's a guy that I really like because he plays hard and blocks and does all the little things that you like to see receivers do. He's a big, strong, fast, talented guy. We see him twice a year, so I think I may appreciate him more than other people do, but he's a special player."
On picking up quality players in the middle of the season:
"It's unusual that you have starting-caliber players who are out there and available. (The 2006 trade for Booger McFarland) cost us a lot, it cost us a second-round pick. I imagine the more you are willing to pay, the better chance you have of getting guys like that, but most of the time defensive linemen like that aren't available."
On what former Syracuse RB-Ernie Davis means to him:
"When you think of history and winning the Heisman Trophy, the first African-American to win the Heisman Trophy, that's pretty special. I know my kids wouldn't even think about that, that there was a time when African-Americans weren't even considered for the Heisman Trophy. So that's always special to me. I guess I just appreciate that type of history."
On DE-Dwight Freeney's recovery from his 2007 injury:
"Dwight's doing pretty well. He's actually a little bit ahead of what we thought he would be at this point. He's played well in the games and doesn't seem to have too many negative effects from it."